Localism has seized the Tories, and the centralisation pursued by Mr Ridley and his fellow ministers in the last Tory government, is now anathematised.
I wonder how long this attitude would survive the onset of a Tory government and the inevitable subsequent arrival of numerous Labour councils?
Accordingly, I have had a number of senior Conservatives delivered to my private laboratory (despite clamorous protests from anti-vivisectionists).
After lengthy experiments, during which I thoughtfully sedate them with crusted port, I can say with confidence that none of these Tories has any localism in their DNA.
Indeed their resemblance in this respect to their Labour counterparts is startling.
I release them unharmed, well aware that localism enters the bloodstream of politicians only in opposition.
Getting a rise out of them
A cloth-capped procession of the brothers and sisters of the local government trade unions arrives at Toulmin Hall to ask me to arbitrate on their pay claim.
A little known provision in the rules says if the two sides cannot agree, either may refer the matter to a ‘sound chap’.
I note that had single status not become such a mess, there might be rather more spare money around local government, pointing as I speak to my pigs’ ears and my dog’s dinner.
Their positions seem irreconcilable. I shall use my childhood ‘stick a tail on a donkey’ toy to find a solution.